Top image: Balenciaga FW20
The last few weeks have seen the fashion industry step up to fight the coronavirus pandemic, offering everything from financial donations to perfume factories, repurposed to mass-produce hand sanitiser.
Now, Kering – the luxury conglomerate which owns the likes of Balenciaga, Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen, among others – has announced that Balenciaga and Saint Laurent will be making medical face masks to ease the current shortage in France. Kering will also pay to import three million masks from China, all of which will be given straight to the French healthcare service, as well as 1.1 million masks and 55,000 pairs of medical overalls, manufactured by Gucci and donated in Italy.
The news comes as France struggles to handle the pandemic, with Germany offering intensive care beds to patients in eastern parts of the country. Meanwhile, in the UK, designers are doing their bit, too: Phoebe English recently offered to make medical masks from surplus fabrics in her London warehouse.